This woman was invited out the other night for some “fun with the girls.”
She told her husband she would be home by midnight. Well, the hours passed and the champagne was going down really smooth. About 3 a.m., drunk as a skunk, she headed for home.
Just as she got in the door, the cuckoo clock in the hall started up and cuckooed three times. Quickly, realizing he’d probably wake up, she cuckooed another nine times. She was really proud of herself for coming up with such a quick-witted solution in order to escape a possible conflict with him.
The next morning her husband asked her what time I got in and she told him “about 12 o’clock” and he didn’t seem disturbed at all. Whew! Got away with that one! Then he said, “We need a new cuckoo clock.”
When she asked him why, he said, “Well last night our clock cuckooed three times, then said ‘oh shit,’ cuckooed four more times, cleared its throat, cuckooed another three times, giggled twice more and then tripped over the cat and farted.”
Source: Old Horsetail Snake: Where Civilization Might End
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Over the years I’ve learned quite a few idiomatic phrases which have helped me a lot when communicating in English. However, yesterday I found one that was brand new to me. The phrase was, “three sheets in the wind”. Initially I thought it was related to navigating sail boats or something like that. Close, but not quite. It has everything to do with drinking and alcohol. If this phrase means nothing to you besides a marine term like in my case, you can add today a new term to your English knowledge.
Unsteady from over-drinking, as a ship when its sheets are in the wind. The sail of a ship is fastened at one of the bottom corners by a rope called a “tack;” the other corner is left more or less free as the rope called a “sheet” is disposed; if quite free, the sheet is said to be “in the wind,” and the sail flaps and flutters without restraint. If all the three sails were so loosened, the ship would “reel and stagger like a drunken man.”
As you can see, “three sheets in the wind” originated from sailing ships jargon, but really means moving like a drunk person. The following is an example of a sentence using the phrase:
“The receptionist looking, beer bottle in hand, at the over-weight salesman more attentively, perceived that he was three sheets in the wind, or, in plain words, drunk.”
If you travel to the United States, U.K., Australia or any other English-speaking country and hear the phrase “three sheets in the wind” you know that a bar is close by or will be anytime soon. Good Day!
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